New law by Sen. Ossoff aimed at getting justice for lynching victims

New law by Senator Ossoff aimed at getting justice for lynching victims
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 1:24 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2022 at 3:28 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) -A new bi-partisan law by Senator Jon Ossoff will seek justice in unsolved lynchings.

“We have seen in Atlanta, there was a huge case of mob violence and lynching where 25 people were killed,” said Jill Savitt, the President and CEO of The National Center for Civil and Human Rights. “A lynching is often mob violence, but it can be a small group that kills somebody without regard for the legal process.”

Information from the Equal Justice Initiative shows there were over 4,000 lynchings between the 1860s and 1960s in the united states, with over 500 happening in Georgia.

“These unsolved lynchings are open wounds for our community. For our community’s spirit. For our state’s spirit. And worse: they’re heinous crimes for which there has not been justice,” said Sen. Jon Ossoff.

Many of these murders remain unsolved.

“At that time, many of these crimes were swept under the rug, that’s why I wrote this legislation and we’ve now passed this legislation,” said Sen. Ossoff.

Sen. Jon Ossoff, along with Sen. Ted Cruz, penned the bi-partisan legislation: Civil Rights Cold Case Investigations Support Act of 2022.

“This Civil Rights Cold Case investigations board will investigate these unsolved lynchings, murders, and vicious assaults from the civil rights era to determine, if possible, who was responsible and seek accountability,” said Sen. Ossoff.

It sounds like an overwhelming task when you look at how many cases there are and how much time has passed.

“There are police records, there are death certificates, there are a whole range of historic artifacts that you can look to and piece the story together,” said Savitt.

The cases being looked at are from the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s.

“I’ve sat down with the relatives and descendants of lynching victims. Those families still demand justice. And the victims of these heinous acts still deserve justice,” said Ossoff.

But it’s never too late for these cases to close.

“It’s super important this happens because there’s not closure for the families. They don’t have a measure of justice,” said Savitt.

The bill was passed in the house and senate and should be signed by President Biden any day.